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Marion Hume on Location with the Kelly Gang, Elle (UK), September 2003
typed and scanned by Hayley

...It's warming up nicely here by the time another lad arrives. He has tousled black hair, glorious eyelashes and a lullaby brogue. I stare at the jagged scars on his fine face and wonder what on earth happened to him. Then it dawns on me that the last time I saw him, he was wearing a blonde Abba wig and shooting arrows in Lord of the Rings. I had no idea Orlando Bloom was Irish. 'Oh, I'm not, but I'm happier when I stay in my Irish accent at all times.' Ah. A Method man.

As for the scars, 'This one is make-up and this one is real,' he says. 'I've got a few. At four I cut my upper lip. I got a kick from a horse the other day and nearly lost a kneecap. I've broken both my legs, an arm, a wrist, cracked my skull three times and I broke my back when I fell off a roof.'

But that's nothing compared to the fate of the man Orlando plays in Ned Kelly. 'Joe Byrne was Ned's first lieutenant, a thinking man, an opium smoker who spoke Cantonese. But he lived at a time when nothing was on offer to him. So he was part of this huge stand for his country and for history,' Orlando explains. After the police shot Joe they strung him up and taped a gun in his limp hand. Children queued up to be photographed with him. 'Isn't that horrifying? Hung up to be photographed?' says Orlando, who, I can't help but notice, has very un-convict like teeth.

You won't see many teeth in Ned Kelly. 'When you wear a beard, you find you do a beard smile,' he demonstrates. 'You hardly open your mouth.'

And what of kisses? 'Like I'm complaining' says Rachel Griffiths, (Brenda in Six Feet Under), who risks beard burn in her role as a randy wife who gets to snog with Joe Byrne (Bloom). Orlando's stubble is his own, but has been added to in the make-up trailer.

'To kiss Orlando Bloom, who wouldn't suffer?' says Rachel.